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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2014 Aug;30(8):546-51. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000000179.

Motivation to quit smoking in parental smokers in the pediatric emergency department.

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  • 1From the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.



To examine if motivation to quit is associated with parental smoker's perceived presence of a personal or child health illness or risk due to tobacco use.


This was a cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of 218 parental smokers who presented to the pediatric emergency department with their child. We assessed factors related to motivation to quit, including personal and child smoking-related illness, perceived personal and child health risk, smoking behaviors, and demographic characteristics. Motivation to quit was measured using the Contemplation Ladder score.


The mean score on the Contemplation Ladder was 6.2 (SD, 2.5), representing the response: thinking about cutting down or quitting . Eighty-four participants (39%) had high motivation to quit (Contemplation Ladder score 8). Bivariate analysis showed significant associations between high motivation to quit and perceived child health risk with continued smoking and perceived personal and child health benefit following smoking cessation. Parents with high motivation to quit were more likely to have high perceived self-efficacy and confidence in their ability to quit, prior quit attempts, and lower nicotine dependence. With the exception of race/ethnicity, demographic variables were not associated with motivation to quit.


A significant proportion of parental smokers who present to the pediatric emergency department endorse strong motivation to quit. Parents who endorse health risk or quitting-related health benefits in their child are more likely to have high motivation to quit smoking. Future studies are needed to determine if high motivation translates into smoking cessation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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